Wednesday, May 24, 2023

The Beehive of Both a' Ghriosamul - A Message in a Bottle

In section 2.6.2 of Beehive Dwellings of the Hebrides I wrote about a visit to the remote cell at Both a' Ghriosamul. It lies two miles east of Kinlochresort and requires a dedicated effort to reach. I visited the cell on May 21, 2019, and after crawling into it I found a couple of old, empty bottles. One had once held whisky, and the other looked to have been for something medicinal.

It was a blazing hot day, and so I sheltered from the sun inside the cell for a half-hour. As I did, I caught up on my journal, and since the pen was at hand, decided to leave a note for the next visitor. I tore a blank page from the back of the journal, wrote a few lines, then shoved it into the medicine bottle. After crawling out of the cell I made my way back to my campsite at Airigh an t-Sluic.

I had forgotten all about the note I wrote in 2019 until I received an e-mail on May 21, 2023: four years to the day from when I left it in the cell. The message was from Anna Mackenzie of Lewis who, along with her friend Murdo Macleod, were using my book to find the cell. On entering it they discovered my message in a bottle, and kindly sent me this photo of a note from the past.

I am delighted that the book is inspiring people to seek out these mostly forgotten cells. I would love to hear from anyone else who has done that.

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